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A Longitudinal Assessment of Chiropractic Care Using a Survey of Self-Rated Health Wellness & Quality of Life: A Preliminary Study

Mark J. Marino and Phillippa M. Langrell


Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research ~ Volume 3 ~ Number 2 ~ Pages 1-9



This longitudinal study evaluated changes in self-rated health status of patients receiving chiropractic care at the training clinic of the New Zealand School of Chiropractic. The study was designed to assess subluxation-based chiropractic care in association with changes in patients’ perceived health status.  The Self-Rated Health/Wellness Survey (SRHW) was used to evaluate the health status on two occasions, “initial” and “follow-up.” The instrument assessed health across four domains, Physical State, Emotional/Mental State, Stress and Life Enjoyment. Collectively, these four domains, assessed initially and after a follow-up period, constituted Combined Wellness, or a fifth domain. Quality of Life was evaluated as a sixth domain of the questionnaire instrument.  The study population included 89 subjects, evaluated over a five-month study period. The average interval between initial and follow-up surveys was 8.0 ± 3.2 weeks, with an average number of visits of 9.1 ± 4.2. A bivariate analysis was conducted using a two tailed, paired sample t-test to assess the subjects’ survey responses. Subjects reported significant positive perceived changes in Physical State (p = 0.000), Mental/Emotional State (p = 0.008), and Combined Wellness (p = 0.001), with corresponding effect sizes of 0.61, 0.24 and 0.31 respectively.The improvement in the Physical and Mental/Emotional State, and Combined Wellness suggests that chiropractic care provided through the NZ School of Chiropractic is associated with significant benefits in these domains. Study data suggested that health/wellness may accrue with time under care. Thus, further study with a larger sample size and longer duration of care is proposed to more thoroughly investigate possible health benefits in the areas studied, as well as to confirm present findings.


Key words: chiropractic, vertebral subluxation, outcomes assessment, wellness, quality of life, subluxation-based chiropractic, Self-Rated Health/Wellness Survey (SRHW).

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